Dickson City Council Approves Increase for Humane Society

By Breanna Franklin

DICKSON, Tenn. — The Dickson City Council has unanimously approved an amendment to its agreement with the Humane Society of Dickson County, significantly increasing the city’s annual allocation and introducing new funds for a spay-neuter program.

Mayor Don L. Weiss Jr. presented the fiscal year 2024-25 budget draft at the council’s Finance and Management Committee meeting on May 20. The proposed budget increases the city’s allocation to the Humane Society from $60,000 to $100,000 and adds $15,000 for a spay-neuter program. The council approved the budget draft on first reading at its June 3 meeting.

“The Humane Society is better equipped to provide the needed care and adoption services and, with the donations of citizens and corporate supporters like Tennsco and TriStar Bank, provides a state-of-the-art facility for the animals until they find their forever homes,” Weiss said.

Under a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) approved in 2019 and renewed in 2022, the Humane Society began providing housing and care for animals seized by the Dickson Police Department’s Animal Control officer. The city initially allocated $25,500 for these services, later increasing it to $35,000 in 2021 and $60,000 in 2022.

City Administrator Wesson emphasized that increasing the allocation remains more cost-effective than the city constructing, staffing, and operating its own Animal Control facility. “We still think this is a bargain. The staff and I know the mayor, would prefer that we not be in the animal housing and management business. This works very well for us,” Wesson said.

The city’s proposal includes $15,000 to assist the Humane Society in providing a low-cost or free spay-neuter program for pet owners within city limits. “The best way to combat the growing problem of unwanted or abandoned pets is by making it easier for pet owners to spay or neuter their pets,” Wesson added.

The Humane Society shelter has taken in 187 dogs and 199 cats in the first four months of 2024, with 25.4 percent brought in by the city’s Animal Control officer, 51.3 percent by the county’s Animal Control officer, and 23.3 percent from citizen surrenders. During the same period, the Humane Society facilitated adoptions for 109 dogs and 149 cats.

A “limited kill” shelter, the Humane Society of Dickson County strives to find homes for animals without medical or behavioral issues that would prevent adoption. Since the start of 2024, the Humane Society has euthanized three dogs for behavioral issues and six dogs and five cats for medical reasons.

The City Council will hold a public hearing and conduct a second and final vote on the FY2024-25 budget proposal at a special session on June 17. For more information about the Humane Society of Dickson County, you can visit Humane Society of Dickson County 

Breanna Franklin is originally from Orlando, Florida, and lives in Clarksville, Tennessee where she attends Austin Peay State University. There she studies Communications Broadcast Media and is also a part of APSU TV.